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Leszek Jaszczak

Leszek Jaszczak is a freelance writer living in Poland. His interests are gluten-free food, raw gluten-free materials and quality management. His writings appear in Polish confectionery magazines.

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Velvety buckwheat bread - sliced. Image: CC--Eric Fung

The most frequently used materials in the baking industry are wheat, rye, and barley flours. However, due to the presence of gluten, they cannot be used for gluten-free food production. Gluten-free products are characterized by a low content of nutrients such as protein and minerals which are important for meeting normal physiological requirements.



Photo: CC--Mr Hicks46

Raw materials used by breweries include barley. A characteristic feature of this grain is the presence of gluten proteins which also includes hordein. This group of proteins are the trigger of celiac disease symptoms [Darewicz, Dziuba, Jaszczak: "Celiakia – aspekty molekularne, technologiczne, dietetyczne." Przemysł Spożywczy, styczeń, 2011] . This issue raises the need to seek new methods of brewing that allow for the elimination of gluten proteins from the beer [Swora E., Stankowiak-Kulpa H., Mazur M. 2009. Dieta bezglutenowa w chorobie trzewnej. Nowiny Lekarskie 78, 5-6, 324-329]. The biggest problem for coeliac patients is to identify permitted foods. Food manufacturers know about the above problem and are offering new products for people with celiac disease.



Image: CC--zaimoku_woodpile

Allergens in processed foods can be a significant problem in the confectionery industry. In the European Union, current estimates suggest that 17 million people suffer from food allergies and in recent years, the number of children under five years with significant food allergies has grown. Therefore, it is important to keep track of information and raise awareness among consumers and producers.



Image: CC-- Phil Gradwell

For many years, nutritionists, doctors and the media declared a low-fat diet as an effective method of losing weight, lowering the level of so-called "bad cholesterol", and preventing health problems. We have since seen that it is not only fat intake but also the type of fat we eat is of paramount importance.



Image: CC---Joshua Mayer

Polyphenols are a group of compounds produced by plants, highly variable in strucure, physical, chemical and biological properties. Currently science knows of several thousand natural phenolic compounds. A common feature of polyphenols is their ability to enable redox reactions.